In September 2010 I was privileged to travel around Syria for two weeks. What was an itinerary of beauty and delight – Damascus, Lattakia, Aleppo, Deir Ez-Zour, Palmyra – has become a litany of violence and cruelty. How little we appreciated the fragility of the peace. At Qal’at al Madiq I snatched a picture from the coach window: a child clutching sweets to her chest runs past the red of globalised soft drinks and warily returns my intruding gaze. Seven years later the Syrian Network for Human Rights reported:
Children killed in Syrian-Russian alliance forces shelling on Qal’at al Madiq town in Hama governorate on September 20. The girl Mirna Khaled al Jadou’ and her nephew the child Khaled Eyas al Jadou’ killed in Syrian-Russian alliance warplanes missiles fired on Qal’at al Madiq town in Hama governorate western suburbs, causing a massacre on September 20, 2017.
Photo: Qal’at al Madiq, Syria, September 2010